Does couple’s “buy black” mantra raise a concern?

John and Maggie Anderson are taking on a challenge they call the Empowerment Experiment. They have publicly committed to buy goods and services from black owned businesses for one year and are encouraging other black families to make the same pledge.

Of course, this challenge is a difficult one since they need to research ownership of stores they shop at and possibly travel longer-than-normal distances to go shopping. The Anderson’s are a five months into the process, and are telling their story – and tracking expenses – on their Web site.

Many understand about giving back to your community, but why does it have to be a color thing? I don’t think it would be interesting to go into the what if a white family did this example, but I do question the message that is being sent.

What if you happen to be a white business owner who recently invested in the community the Anderson’s live in? How would it make you feel if a good percentage of your clientele were shopping elsewhere – even for only a year – because you are white? How about adding the fact that most of your employees may be black?

John Anderson says they are not suggesting that you go out and exclude other businesses owned by other races – and Maggie laughs – but in reality that is exactly what they are doing. It may just be a study or social experiment, but I think this type of initiative may do more harm than good in the long run.

I get that they are trying to move barriers for black business owners (great), change the perception that black business owners have stores with “poor quality, poor service, high prices, [and] no selection” (I did not know), showcase businesses that defy that stereotype, and improve the community they live in – all admirable – but is this the right way to do it?

Here’s an AP story on the Anderson’s efforts, and I’ve included an interview with Neil Cavuto below. You can find more information at their blog.

What say you? Your comments below please.


7 replies
  1. Darlene
    Darlene says:

    Discrimination in any form is unattractive to me.  I really have no problem with the black community supporting black businesses, if they so choose.  But, I don't really have a problem with people supporting white businesses either. 

    What really bothers me is the "idea" that someone should be rewarded or penalized for these choices.  That somehow, these people are "better" because of their choices.  The reality is that we all should be able to choose … period.  Somehow, we have become a society that has endorse something or we are somehow against it.   Whether it is the choice of our partner, the choice of the products we buy, where we go, what we do, paper or plastic, whatever;  why does it require public advertisement or approval? 

  2. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Months ago, this PatRiot said that we needed to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and fix this mess because DC cannot or won't.   Build American, buy Americn, buy as local as you can.

    The are stepping up with one of many solutions.  Solutions that do not depend on DC.

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    You are correct Steve.  Whenever one has to ask if something is racist or not, you merely apply the test: change black to white and reread the statement, preferably to a black person you know.  If they seem uncomfortable, or more likely, outraged, it is racism.

    In fact, I would offer that this couple is self segregating, in violation of the politically correct concept of "diversity."  Funny that.

    In either direction, racism is racism.  The second you discriminate on the basis of racial origin, or in the case of hispanics, on the basis of language, you are committing a racist act.

    Of course, going John Galt isn't racist……

  4. Wayne SW
    Wayne SW says:

    Championing a Racist cause, at any level only fuels Racism.  Steve avoided comment on "What if a white person" selectivley exculded doing business with any black business.  The most obvious conclsuion would be that if a white person set out and did the exact same exclusionary business practices and documented it just as proudly, for certain, charges and protests would prevail.  

  5. sqkingsley
    sqkingsley says:

    This is another example of double standard.  If a white couple announced they would only shop from white shop owners – the press and everyone would be all over them.  There would be pure outrage!  Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be crawling out from under their respectives rocks and organizing protests.  It would be the talk of mainsteam media for days.  I am so sick of the constant double standard.  The left preaches tolerance – yet where is their tolerance?  They have none.  The left constantly complains that conservatives and the right are hateful – but they are the ones that are purely hateful!  Perez Hilton gets to call Miss California a hateful bitch and that's okay.  Bill Mahr wishes rich greedy pigs to be murdered at the superbowl and that's okay.  Wanda Sykes wishes Rush to have kidney failure and that's okay.  But we are the hateful and racists ones – right?  The left are the real racists and always have been!

  6. SoundOffSister
    SoundOffSister says:

    If a white family said they would only purchase "stuff" from whites, it would be labeled as racism.  So, if a black family says they will only purchase "stuff" from blacks, what is that labeled? 

    Sad, I thought we were all Americans.   It matters not to me the "color" of the store owner. 

    Even sadder, we fought a Civil War to insure that race didn't matter.  Now, the folks whites fought to empower with that war, think that boycotting white establishments is acceptable.  Who is preventing us from all being just plain old ordinary Americans?  Blacks or whites?

  7. Eric
    Eric says:

    These people are welcome to support any business that they choose, but why do they whine so about the businesses that black Americans don't own? This is just silly. If a black American wants to open a Walgreen's there's nothing stopping him. Minority owned businesses are hardly unusual. Business ownership is an American way of life for blacks, whites and everyone in between. Why do some people believe that we have to be hyphenated Americans anyway?

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